The Burning Crusade has been out since January 2007, which makes it nearly seven years old. Since that time, there has always been a contingient of people on every new MMO forum who scream, "Where are the flying mounts? I keep getting hit by mobs!" I, like most everyone else, always scoffed and thought, "Just run around the mobs. Jeez. We don’t need no stinkin’ flying mounts."
Flash forward to today, when my Hunter finally bought a flying mount on the Hellfire Penninsula. I’ve been slowly leveling him since I first started playing WoW, which was, coincidentally enough, somewhere around 2007. (Actually I think it was 2008.) Anyway, he’s 64 now and I still occasionally break him out and grind through some quests to inch slowly forward toward where I can enter the second oldest expansion area. One day I found myself standing in front of the flying mount vendor with 225 gold burning a hole in my pocket, so I bought a white griffin.
Holy crap. Flying is awesome! Why doesn’t every MMO have this??
Just kidding. Sort of. Flying is awesome in WoW but I think it’s because it takes so frickin’ long to get places. And that’s usually because quest objectives are all the way across the map from where the quest hub is. I’m thinking specifically of Zangarmarsh here (or whatever it’s called) since that’s my most recent experience. If I had to run all the way through that swamp all the time it would drive me crazy. The mobs in there are not even a tiny bit threatening to my Hunter, but it would still be annoying to run through them or even around them. With a flying mount, you just jump into the air, hit numlock, and go get a drink until you reach your destination.
So in a nutshell, now I understand why everyone thinks flying mounts are awesome, but I don’t think they are as much a necessity in other MMOs as they are in WoW.
(Fun fact: For most of the past seven years, I’ve thought that the WoW BC expansion was actually named Burning Chrome. I think it’s because I once played against a Quake clan called Burning Chrome [BC] way back in the day. Imagine my surprise when I opened up Wikipedia and typed in "Burning Chrome" to look up the game’s release date and found that Burning Chrome is actually a short story by William Gibson.)